Fraternity/Sorority Community Advisory Board - University of Houston
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Fraternity/Sorority Community Advisory Board


The purpose of the University of Houston Fraternity/Sorority Community Advisory Board is to serve in a policy and advisory capacity to the Center for Fraternity & Sorority Life and the University as a whole through the following means:

  • To assist in the long-term viability of the fraternity/sorority system at UH through advocacy for increased resources, development opportunities, and strategic planning
  • To partner and liaise with the UH Alumni Association, UH Advancement, and other stakeholders to increase the population of informed, engaged fraternity/sorority alumni
  • To serve as a sounding board and feedback loop to the Center for Fraternity & Sorority Life as they consider policies and practices designed to improve fraternity/sorority life at UH
  • To review and make meaning of data that communicates the current successes and challenges of the fraternity/sorority community


Membership on the FSCAB shall include a wide diversity of stakeholders designed to represent faculty, staff, students, and alumni

  • 8-10 University of Houston fraternity/sorority alumni, focusing on diversity of race, gender, and fraternal membership
    • Ensure at least one alumni spot is filed by a young alum (one who is within 10 years of their graduation)
  • Two UH staff members (external to the Center for Fraternity & Sorority Life) committed to the success of fraternities and sororities, and appointed by the Staff Council
  • Two UH faculty member committed to the success of fraternities and sororities, and appointed by the Faculty Senate
  • Three student members who identify as active members of the fraternity/sorority community
  • Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs (ex-officio)
  • Director, Center for Fraternity & Sorority Life (ex-officio)

2019-2020 Community Advisory Board Members

Melanie Rodriguez, Chair

Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc.
Class of ’10 (B.A.)

Reuben Parrish

Melanie Rodriguez is an Organizational Development practitioner of 15 years. She serves as an Organizational Capability Advisor for Chevron Corporation focusing on talent development, organizational capability strategy, diversity & inclusion, and change management. Melanie graduated from the University of Houston in 2001 with a BA in Public Relations/Advertising and a minor in Mexican American Studies. It is here that she was initiated into Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc. (Fall 1996). She has earned an MA in Organizational Management, an MA in Human Development and a PhD Human and Organizational Systems. 

Melanie is a member of the American Society for Training and Development, the Houston Organizational Development Network, and the Houston World Affairs Council. She is an active volunteer in her community and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc. Melanie is blessed to be supported by her wife Cindy Vasquez-Rodriguez (UH, 2003) and their two children.

Karl Hearne, Staff Council Representative

Executive Assistant, Vice President for Neighborhood and Strategic Initiative
Class of ’08 (B.S.), ’10 (M.S.)

Bio and Photo Coming Soon

Dr. Karen Fern, Faculty Senate Representative

Gamma Phi Beta

Karen Fern received her Doctor of Optometry from Pacific University College of Optometry and completed a residency in pediatric optometry at the University of Houston College of Optometry. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Optometry and a member of the American Optometric Association and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. Dr. Fern's teaching includes the areas of pediatric optometry and binocular vision and involves both classroom and clinical attending. She serves as Director of Residency Programs and Director of the Pediatric and Binocular Vision Service. Dr. Fern's research interests include vision development, binocular vision, myopia, and quality of life instruments. She was the recipient of the American Academy of Optometry Garland Clay in 1987 recognizing her outstanding publication in the Journal of Optometry and Physiological Optics.

David Frankfort, Staff Council Representative

Systems Administrator, Enterprise Systems
Class of ’95 (B.S.), ’03 (M.S.)

Bio and Photo Coming Soon

Christy Ho

alpha Kappa Delta Phi International Sorority, Inc.
Class of ’17 (B.S.)

Bio and Photo Coming Soon

Michael Pisana

Sigma Phi Epsilon
Class of ’11 (B.S.)

Bio and Photo Coming Soon 

Brooke Sullivan

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
Class of ’15 (B.S.)

Bio and Photo Coming Soon

Dr. Jackie Thomas

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Class of ’04 (B.S.), ’12 (Ph.D.)

Reuben Parrish

Dr. Jackie C. Thomas Jr. currently serves as the Chief Strategist at Lone Star College-Tomball. In this capacity, he serves on the President’s Executive Cabinet and provides senior-level leadership to the Office of Strategic Initiatives. The Office of Strategic Initiatives is one of four divisions at Lone Star College-Tomball and includes the following areas: College Relations, Professional Development, Multimedia Services, Diversity and Inclusion, the Center for Leadership, Academic and Student Success, Grants, Strategic Planning, Alumni Relations, Community Engagement, Research and Innovation, and Institutional Effectiveness. In addition to his role at Lone Star College-Tomball, Jackie is a Board Member for TOMAGWA Health Care Ministries and the National Council on Black American Affairs. He also serves on the American Association of Community College’s Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Commission. He received his Bachelors of Science in Consumer Science and Merchandising from the University of Houston, his Masters of Science in Higher Education from Florida State University, and his Doctorate of Philosophy in Educational Psychology and Individual Differences from the University of Houston.

Karen Webster

Alpha Chi Omega
Class of ’95 (B.BA.)

Reuben Parrish

Karen Taylor Webster graduated from the University of Houston with a BBA in Business Management and membership in the Honors College. As a collegian, she held the offices of Treasurer and Chapter President of Alpha Chi Omega and was a member of the Student Foundation and Honors Advocates. 

After a brief career in Human Resources, she has devoted the last 20 years giving back to her alma mater, her sorority, her church and her children’s schools and extracurricular activities. Karen began her alumna service to her sorority as the Finance Advisor to her chapter, served a term as Chapter Advisor and was among a few key alumni who led in the effort to bring Greek Housing to the University of Houston. She currently serves as Alpha Chi Omega’s Finance Advisor and Housing Advisor and a member of the local House Corporation Board. Karen is also a member of the University of Houston Honors College Advisory Board and a season ticket holder to UH Football and Men’s Basketball programs. 

Karen is married to her college sweetheart and they have two sons. She has held leadership roles in their school PTAs, their church’s children and youth ministry programs and their high school sports booster clubs. Karen recently became the proud mother of a United States Marine when her older son enlisted to serve. She also loves to watch her younger son play high school football and baseball.

Catherine Zarate Watkins

Delta Zeta
Class of ’03 (B.S.), ’05 (M.Ed.), ’12 (J.D.)

Bio/Photo Coming Soon

Keith T. Kowalka, Ex-Officio

Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs

Jason Bergeron, Ex-Officio

Director, Center for Fraternity & Sorority Life